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Natural Stone: Marble, Granite, Slate, Limestone, Travertine

Planet Earth offers us many materials to use in and around our homes and buildings. Natural Stones offer unique qualities that are durable, practical, and beautiful. There are many ways to prepare natural stones: polishing, tumbling, large slab cutting, etc. depending on the desired use. While beautiful, all natural stones need to be sealed to protect them from discoloration. Some “enhanced sealers” give the stone a “wet” look that brings out the gorgeous and varied colors inherent in the stones themselves.


Marble is a natural stone composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals. Natural color variations give marble beautiful color variations. It is a relatively soft stone and should not be used in applications where it will be in continuous contact with staining agents, such as in a kitchen.

Polished marble cannot withstand any exposure to acids such as citric acid from lemon juice. If exposed, it will etch and loose its shine. Marble is most appropriate for formal, lightly used floors but it is always in great demand for bathrooms and fireplaces. Honed marble is an increasingly popular material for floors due to its better wear properties, warmer feel and less slick surface compared to polished. 12″ and 18″ are common sizes for honed marble.


Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs, formed from calcium carbonate. This stone typically has pronounced directional veining which can be accentuated (vein-cut) or more muted (cross-cut) depending on the desired effect. Available in a honed, polished or antiqued finish, the stone can have a look anywhere from contemporary to old-world. Travertine is widely used for flooring, shower walls, fireplaces and kitchen backsplashes. Square sizes range from 12″ to 24″, while mosaics, rectangular shapes and interlocking patterns are very popular.


Granite is a very hard crystalline volcanic rock that can withstand much more abuse than marble. It is appropriate for kitchen counters, floors, bathrooms, etc. The polished surface of the stone can be used in high use residential counters with minimal upkeep. Like all stones, granite should be sealed after installation to minimize the risk of a stain occurring. Limestone Limestone is a stone composed largely of calcite and /or aragonite. Being a sedimentary rock, fossils of marine organisms are often seen in the surface. Usually a honed finish, and used for flooring, showers and fireplaces. Colors are warm beige hues or softer grays and greens. Some limestone is available in a tumbled finish for a rugged look. As with any natural stone, limestone should be sealed after installation. Sizes are normally 12″ 16″ or 24″ squares or 12″ x 24″ rectangles.


Slate is composed of layers or rock, sometimes showing great color variations from layer to layer. Slate is very porous and must be sealed for any interior application. The material has a natural cleft (textured) surface which makes it a very non-slip surface. It can be used for floors, fireplaces, kitchen backsplashes, etc. Some Slate, like Sheldon Slate can be used for sinks, countertops, etc. Slate is also great for outdoor use.

Tumbled Stone

Tumbled stone is marble, travertine, limestone or slate that is cut and then tumbled to achieve a very rustic, old world appearance. Tumbled stones make very durable, non-slip floors.

Inlaid Stone

Inlaid stone mosaics are created by combining multiple types of materials including glass and stone into intricate decorative patterns. They are produced using a high pressure water jet cutting system which can create delicate curves and designs that cannot be created by simply using sheet mounted mosaics. The pieces are then assembled by hand to a backing that holds them all together, simplifying installation. Final finishing includes filling the tight seems and sealing the entire stone surface. This material has become very popular for kitchen backsplashes, fireplaces and bathrooms. Floor medallions are perfect to create a grand entryway into your home.

Cement Tile

Indoor, Outdoor, Floors, Walls…..Beautiful!

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